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Prototype Graviton Surf Board

posted Jan 7, 2018, 1:00 PM by Viktor Zólyomi   [ updated Jan 7, 2018, 1:00 PM ]
The following article by Jonathan Parker was originally published in the Con City Times

Ever since the discovery of gravitational waves, the Con City Space Agency has been hard at work developing a so-called graviton surf board: a high-tech surf board designed to ride the gravitational waves... in space. While the project received plenty of criticism from various sources, mainly numerous scientists calling it `a complete waste of time,' plenty of investors have supported the development. Now, that investment seems to have paid off, as the Con City Space Agency has made a stunning announcement.

`We've done it,' said Professor Jared Burns, Director of the Agency in his opening sentence at a press conference. `We have built the prototype of the graviton surf board!'

The announcement came just a few months after the Nobel Prize was awarded for the discovery of gravitational waves. Professor Burns admitted that the timing was no coincidence.

`When they handed the Nobel out for the gravitational waves, interest in our graviton surf board project spiked,' he explained. `Donations quadrupled within three days, and we gathered so much funding that we managed to speed up the research and development cycle quite a bit. That is why I am proud to say that we finally have a finished, ready to use prototype of the graviton surf board!'

As for how the Agency managed to build an object to ride waves that penetrate all known forms of matter, Chief Engineer Scott Freeman provided additional explanation.

`We invented a new material that can hover on gravitational waves,' he stated. `I know many of our colleagues around the world will be skeptical -- hell, I would be skeptical if someone else had designed this material -- but take my word for it, the thing works. The thing actually works. As for how, I'm afraid I cannot disclose that until our patent application is approved, which might take a couple of years or even decades. But once we demonstrate that the graviton surf board works, there will be no doubt left in anyone's mind that our invention is groundbreaking, revolutionary, and just as worthy of the Nobel as the waves themselves.'

Regarding the demonstration of the graviton surf board's operation, Professor Burns admitted at the press conference that they have not been able to test their prototype just yet.

`To use a surf board, we need a wave to ride,' he said. `This is no different from surfing on ocean waves. We can't go surfing when the seas are calm. With gravitational waves, there is the added complication that we need to find gravitational waves in space. All waves detected thus far have been found by detectors on Earth. To make matters worse, months passed between each detection. That's just not sufficient for our surf board. We need a better means of detecting gravitational waves, and in particular, we need to detect them in space. This is currently not possible, hence we have started a new project, aiming to build a gravitational wave detector in space. Yes, I'm aware the Europeans want to do the same thing, but we can do it better!'

The new project faces its own difficulties, in particular with its required functions.

`We have to not only detect but predict gravitational waves before they hit,' explained Chief Engineer Freeman. `Otherwise, we cannot prepare the graviton surf board in time to actually catch the waves. Existing detection procedures can't really do that, so we need to devise a whole new way of detecting gravitational waves. And we need to put the detector on a satellite, or a space station. That is the other difficulty. We need the Ultra Brutus space shuttle to be operational in order to deploy the new detector when it's ready, and right now Ultra Brutus is far from completion. I fear the prototype graviton surf board will be sitting in our lab for the foreseeable future.'

Despite the difficulties, the Director of the Con City Space Agency expressed confidence that it won't be long before we can go surfing in space.

`Soon, very soon, gravitational surfing will be more popular than traditional surfing,' Professor Burns said at the end of the press conference. `After all, our computer simulations clearly say that our prototype graviton surf board should work as intended.'